Friday, January 2

Pirate Attack Photo - French Capture Eight Pirates

On New Years Day, the French Navy captured a pirate attack boat and the eight pirates that were onboard:

("Interception des pirates" / Interception of pirates)

Note the modified ladder that the pirates are carrying for quick hooking to the side of a ship. (Also, where are the other four pirates that were supposed to be in the boat? Were they already transferred to the French warship?)
On 1 January 2009, aviso PM Her is on patrol in the eastern Gulf of Aden. In the morning, he received a distress call from Panamanian freighter S. Venus attacked by pirates. The her to the door to him and the pirates to cease their attack before the arrival of the French aviso.

In early afternoon S. Venus reiterates its distress call because of another attack at about 40 kilometers from the position of the aviso and 80 km from the coast of Yemen (the port of Al Mukallah). The French aviso door once again to the rescue of the Panamanian cargo ship and found two small boats nearby, designated by the crew of the cargo as the skiffs assault pirates.

The fact the her stop boats carrying eight Somali. A visit on board the boat will find 6 AK47, 1 RPG, ammunition, two scales of collision, a grab and a GPS. Ces weapons are under control. The Somali suspected of piracy are onboard the French aviso en route to the coast of Somalia to put the authorities in that country. - Google Translation of French Press Release (Original French Report here "Le Premier MaĆ®tre l’Her intercepte des pirates")
This sounds like a good start to fighting pirates this year.

Here is an English-Language story on the capture that might be a little better to understand:
French military commanders say one of their warships foiled a raid in the Gulf of Aden New Year's day.

Somali pirates reportedly targeted a cargo ship in this event. Eight of the pirates were taken into custody, France confirmed Thursday.

The French Naval frigate Premier Maitre L'Her, was patrolling the waters as part of a European Union taskforce, when it intercepted the would-be pirates.

It was the French vessel's second response to a distress call from the Panamanian-flagged S. Venus.

On the first occasion, the pirates fled the area, navy captain Christophe Prazuck, spokesman for France's general staff told AFP.

The next time the distress call went out, the French frigate's crew spotted two light vessels near the cargo ship.

The crew of the cargo ship S. Venus identified the the pirates' assault craft, Prazuck added.

After the pirate boats were intercepted by the French vessel, six AK47 assault rifles, a rocket-launcher and rockets were confiscated, as well as a grappling hook and two boarding ladders.

The pirates will not be tried by French authorities. Instead they were taken back to the Somali coast to be handed them over to "the authorities," Prazuck said. - Salem-News
Lets hope to see more of this, although I wonder why they are sending them back to Somalia.

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soleslide said...

I am not sure anybody would have complained had the French opened fire in 'self defence'. What a shame to waste all that firepower. Maybe the Indian Navy should do that the next time one of it's warships encounters pirates. Capturing them and then setting them free sounds like a massive waste of time and effort.

Anonymous said...

What else can the French do with them? the ship is Panamanian registered so they are not going to take them to Panama for prosecution, no crime against a French registered vessel so can't prosecute in France, and surely not taking them in front of the world court. Maybe a mechanism needs to be put in place for international piracy prosecution.